We sailed into the maritime history of Aero and anchored in the old wintering harbor, where the schooner fleet of centuries ago had laid-up ships for protection from harsh weather. The entrance channel to Kleven Havn is marked with large stone piles that rise from the water. Thank goodness for the tourist information center having published this fun fact, or we’d have had no idea how to navigate these giant stone piles that were not on the chart! The historical purpose for the stone piles was to slow the flow of drifting ice; so the ice would break apart thereby causing no damage to the laid-up schooners. Detour sailed downwind on the morning’s last breath of air, moving effortlessly across calm water. We diverted from the channel, behind the second set of stone piles, to anchor in 1.7m of crystal clear water and watched as our Spade anchor dug into the sand. Our backdrop, a rolling hill of freshly tilled soil with a charming farmhouse set atop and horses grazing in the neighboring, green field. We dinghied into Kleven Havn. A surprised, “Hi!” greeted us from a local man who was polishing the hull of his sailboat, still on the hard. The man confirmed that we could of course leave the dinghy in the harbour; he was not the chatting sort. The harbour was nearly empty of boats, not another soul around, one of the benefits of visiting prior to pre-season. Smaller boats are welcome guests but Detour would not fit. It does also offer a primitive campsite of two lean-to’s and a toilet building for summer ramblers. We found the main road and admired the very small town of Ommel. It seemed we’d raced ahead and just now arrived in Denmark along with spring. Flowers were blooming, all the brilliant bulbs that we’d just left behind in the Netherlands. We enjoyed the mid-day sunshine during our walk to the town of Marstal, the largest town on Aero. Marstal continues to function largely on shipping, the maritime museum boasts the town’s history, and present day nautical school continues to train the Danish merchant fleet.
The shops in Marstal were open and we enjoyed some browsing and a leisurely lunch. Then, back on the Archipelago Trail, we ventured into Aero’s landscapes. The Archipelago Trail weaves through fields, backyards, farm roads…we’d spotted deer, rabbits, and tractors…
At Kleven Havn, we’d decided to take-up the Archipelago Trail on the other side of the water since we couldn’t get enough of the extended afternoon sun. We closely examined this burial tomb, the last of 16 which had existed on Aero. This tomb has been archaeologically studied and then restored. The tomb had been used for 800 years; from the 14th century until 1864.
Quite a day! The evening, spring chill was upon us and so back to Detour for some much needed food, rest, and heat!